When deciding to take an SAT Subject Test, one must consider various factors. Each college that will be applied to will have different acceptable ranges of scores. Depending on the intended major of the incoming student, one subject test may be more valuable than the others. Even if the scores are not required, submitting the scores might be useful for communicating your interest in a subject or for gaining college credits toward your major. The SAT World History Subject Test covers a lot of ground as it overlays the entire globe across many centuries.
Why Should I Take the World History Subject Test?
The academic world is growing more and more competitive every year. It requires better grades, more extracurriculars, and stronger references just to be considered for admittance. For this same reason, standardized test scores communicate more than they ever have before. With the addition of subject tests, which focus on a specific field of study instead of general knowledge and abilities, an opportunity arose for incoming students to demonstrate their range of understanding.
Seeing this test as a tool instead of an impediment will improve the value it bestows. Whether you want to be a historian, a history major, or just a history buff, the World History Subject Test is the way to go. It highlights your interest in this field of study and is a written representation of your capabilities to admissions staff. Standing out in the crowd of applications would be a challenge for anyone but having the exam scores from a World History Subject test will mean you have the necessary background to excel in the field.
Another aspect of the test is the field-specific vocabulary. There are words you will need to understand and analytical skills that will become invaluable as your progress through your studies and preparation for the exam. Knowing the difference between a primary and secondary source, drawing comparisons across various periods of time, and extracting a common issue are all valuable skills in this field of study. There are firsthand accounts, maps, and charts to cull information from. By practicing for the exam, you will, at the same time, learn to better interpret the questions and narratives that will be presented to you.
Get SAT practice tests for world history here.
Tips on How to Get the Best Score Possible
This World History test contains 95 multiple choice questions that must be answered within 60 minutes. It is recommended to spend no more than 30 seconds on each question. Since there is limited time to answer everything, time management will be a key factor to your success. If you come across a question that seems too challenging, there is no harm in skipping it for now and continuing to answer the others. When done correctly, you will have time to return to the questions you didn’t fill out and give them another look.
Three styles of prompts are used in the SAT World History test. It uses ‘Cause and Effect’, ‘Identification’, and ‘Image Based’. These types of questions will be spread out among the test, sometimes using maps and charts. Each one will require you to actively think about the essence of the question. It can be very helpful to use your test booklet to rewrite the question in your own words, thus pulling out the key points and leaving all the extraneous writing behind. Once you have all the important items on your page, the answers make a lot more sense and the correct choice will pop out in front of you.
Using strategies will be a huge help in achieving your goal score on the test. Acknowledging that some questions will be harder than others will require a paradigm shift. When you are looking at all the possible answers for a test, start thinking instead, which ones are obviously incorrect. Just by changing your thinking, you likely eliminated two or three of the potential answers leaving a much smaller pool to choose from. After the elimination round, your odds of selecting the correct answer have increased significantly. This will translate to better scores down the line.
Finding your weak points will save you valuable time and energy in your preparations for the official exam. If you know you have a strong knowledge base in a certain area, you can devote your energy to where you are lacking. Those points of knowledge that are notably weaker will see the greatest amount of improvement if you are practicing effectively. Time is the most valuable commodity we have so optimizing how we use it will translate to more gains in the exam and in future classes.
Where Do I Find Practice Tests for SAT World History?
Practice tests are all over the internet. A simple google search will bring you a list of websites that seems to go on into eternity. Practice materials of all calibers and qualities exist in various forms like PDF, eBook, online, books, classes, study guides and tutors. The big mistake many people make is not vetting the source of the material. While there are many SAT World History practice tests on the web, most will not be super relevant to the real exam. It is recommended to stick with only the official and accredited practice tests when making a selection. The College Board is the company that designs the official test and they release various study guides and practice tests that will directly relate to the tests. They will hold the most accurate representation for the real thing.
The goal of the practice exams is to test your knowledge of course, but it also acclimates you to the time schedule and the way questions are worded. Getting comfortable with spending only 30 seconds on each question and looking through the answers to eliminate the wrong ones takes practice. Companies like Kaplan and the Princeton Review also release study guides that will help accurately demonstrate the feeling of the real test. Gaining valuable experience in an accurate simulation will have immense and far-reaching benefits when you take the official SAT exam.
Finding various sources of media will lend to a more rounded understanding of the material on the test. Sticking to only practice tests or only study guides will leave you unrounded in your understanding of the subject material and that will show in your test results. Instead, read about the events in books and online. Make games out of the information by making flashcards or quiz a friend and then have them quiz you. The more senses you can incorporate into learning the information, the better it will stick and the more comfortable you will be on the main test.
What are the Common Mistakes Made on the SAT World History Subject Tests?
It is easy to get stumped on a question and spend too much time trying to figure it out. If you aren’t paying attention; you can waste valuable time on a single question which can force you to rush through the others and this would not be a good position to be in. Instead, go through the questions that you can answer easily and then return later to answer the rest. It will save you time and valuable brain energy that can then be devoted to other parts of the test.
Don’t get caught up focusing on specifics instead of the big picture. The Majority of the exam will consist of questions about the theme of historical events rather than specific dates and times. Reading too much into the prompt can also cause you to miss aspects of the questions that are more important. The questions are often written in such a way that they will intentionally mislead you. It is your job to pull out the essentials from the questions and answer the question correctly.
Flashcards are very useful in memorizing timelines and events because of the repetitiveness. Seeing the same prompt and answer together in various situations helps it stick in your head, but make sure you are thinking about it rather than just memorizing it rote. This information will do you no good if, without the correct prompt, you don’t know the answer. When done incorrectly you can know the answer but without being presented the exact prompt you have been practicing, you may not see the connection and ultimately miss the question. Instead, shuffling the cards after each use reduces the likelihood that you are spatially memorizing them. Asking a friend to help you will also create another situation for you to practice and have someone external verify your knowledge. Just by the presence of that other person, you will pick up on areas where your understanding is weak.
At the same time, develop an individualized schedule for studying. Everyone has obligations like work and school but make sure to find the time to study by blocking out specific hours of the day to work on material, study the maps, and review your flashcards. Taking a practice test regularly will keep you on your toes and prepare you for the real test.
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